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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jan 2022 - 7 Jan 2022

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2021 Dec 31

Brain Res

Nicotine-induced C-shape movements in planarians are reduced by antinociceptive drugs: implications for pain in planarian paroxysm etiology?


C-shapes are stereotyped movements in planarians that are elicited by diverse stimuli (e.g. acidity, excitatory neurotransmitters, psychostimulants, and pro-convulsants). Muscle contraction and seizure contribute to the expression of C-shape movements, but a causative role for pain is understudied and unclear. Here, using nicotine-induced C-shapes as the endpoint, we tested the efficacy of three classes of antinociceptive compounds – an opioid, NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel antagonist. For comparison we also tested effects of a neuromuscular blocker. Nicotine (0.1-10 mM) concentration-dependently increased C-shapes. DAMGO (1-10 µM), a selective µ-opioid agonist, inhibited nicotine (5 mM)-induced C-shapes. Naloxone (0.1-10 µM), an opioid receptor antagonist, prevented the DAMGO (1 µM)-induced reduction of nicotine (5 mM)-evoked C-shapes, suggesting an opioid receptor mechanism. C-shapes induced by nicotine (5 mM) were also reduced by meloxicam (10-100 µM), a NSAID; HC 030031 (1-10 µM), a TRPA1 antagonist; and pancuronium (10-100 µM), a neuromuscular blocker. Evidence that nicotine-induced C-shapes are reduced by antinociceptive drugs from different classes, and require opioid receptor and TRPA1 channel activation, suggest C-shape etiology involves a pain component.